The Student News Site of Pinewood School

The Perennial

The Perennial

The Perennial

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The True Value of Journalism

I never joined journalism to write. I joined for the sweatshirt. In 8th grade when I was small, painfully anxious about interviewing upperclassmen and an overzealous comma user (still am today), I followed my friends to the initial meeting intent on obtaining a sleekly designed Perennial sweatshirt. My five years on The Perennial have given me the space to grow, mature and push the boundaries of my comfort zone. 

Because my freshman year was spent cooped up inside my bedroom, interviews became my tether to the Pinewood community. As I leaned into the discomfort and anxiety that comes with interviews, I found the sense of community I had been missing. These personal conversations replaced hallway passing-period smiles and “hellos” in lunch lines. In small ways, The Perennial brought back the Pinewood I knew and loved. 

In sophomore year, despite the grueling nights where I would stare at a computer until my eyes began to blur, layouts quickly became my favorite part of journalism. Too many late nights were spent eating greasy pizza that made my stomach gurgle, debating whether kicking the printer would make it actually work and laughing on the couch until my sides hurt at a deeply unfunny joke one of my friends had made. Initially, I was scared to talk to the seniors who would lounge in the corner, exchanging wisecracks at a rapid fire pace. As I grew more comfortable around the upperclassmen editors, they became the people I went to for advice (and who I still go to for advice). I didn’t realize I would miss them until they had left. 

Delirious layouts pushed me closer to many of my friends and people I’d never talked to. Junior year layouts led to messy dumpling-filled adventures, hours-long intimate conversations on the floor of various Books Inc. locations and late-night fast food runs where we piled into a booth too small for six people. 

Above all, The Perennial taught me that a simple conversation can kickstart a vivid friendship. In freshman year, I believed that I could stick to my core group of friends. The Perennial forced me to talk to people I had known of but had never known personally. 

Even in the past few months, I’ve found myself gossipping and cheering and screaming at basketball games, driving around Los Altos Hills blasting Taylor Swift and judging houses and giggling in the back of stats class, all with people I would’ve never known personally if journalism hadn’t taught me the importance of talking to everyone and anyone. 

My only regret for the entirety of high school is that I didn’t talk to more people sooner. I often imagine what could have happened if I had known my close friends years before we graduated.  

Although I joined because of the sweatshirt, I stuck around because of the people. The Perennial gave me the community I didn’t know I needed but will miss dearly when I’m gone. 

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